Sunday, September 13, 2009

A cynical take on the remasters

Writing at The Huffington Post, Tamara Conniff derides the release of the remastered Beatles albums as a money-grab enterprise. Central to her argument is the issue of sound recording copyrights.

In 2012, the Beatles first recorded single, "Love Me Do," will enter the public domain. Originally released in 1962, under the UK copyright law a sound recording no longer belongs to the artist who recorded it after 50 years. Some big name artists and record company advocacy groups lobbied to get an extension to mirror the United States 95-year term. In April of this year, the European Union approved an extension from 50 to 70 years, however, the U.K. and member states have balked at it and the proposal has gotten lost in the political shuffle.

So of course the Beatles, and more specifically their label group EMI, want to exploit the recordings as much as they can before it becomes public property and can be used free of charge.

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